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tv   [untitled]    January 17, 2013 3:30am-4:00am PST

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interest in young people is quite genuine and he meets regularly with middle school principals, focusing on critical years for kids to stay engage the in school. recognizing that mayors can have tremendous impact in their communities, he co-sponsored the legislation to eradicate bullying from schools at the 2012 con conference of mayors. he is here today to address us on the vexing issue of bullying. it is my pleasure to introduce the mayor of san francisco, ed lee. . >> thank you, ann, for that wonderful introduction and i don't know where you got the ease of coming to the mayor's ofrs, there was no ease on that. ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining together here at the presidio with all the
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different agencies. i see phil ginsburg, i know bill is around, others from our da office, richard caranza and others from the women's status as well and the district attorneys from the various counties, the school administrators and instructors and superintendents from other counties as well, as well as our community-based agencies that are so invaluable it all of us. this is a very important topic and it's one that our u.s. attorney, melinda hague and i helped spearhead yesterday with 800 students who came together who watch an incredible film by lee hirsch i've heard the wonderful reports from the
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kids, seen their laughter and their tears. we are going to honor your making that film by doing what we need to do to stop bullying across the country. because the data shared by our u.s. attorney, representatives from the department of education confirm if we don't do anything about it, 13 million kids will become victims again for another year. some 3 million kids across the country will decide it is better to leave their school grounds than to continue their education. there will be more stupblting of the emotional and educational growth of our kids. all across the bay, whether working here in san francisco or alameda or sonoma or santa clara county. i want to thank
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you law enforcement officials here, instructors, community advocates, people who are concerned about our kids, they are our future and i would love to see a new generation of kids who don't know what bully is, who are not victims, who don't have those scars. but we've got to do today is sharing in the best practices, to be encouraged by programs like our roof top school here in san francisco who has traded a 50-person ambassador class that will talk about this, that will invite other kids, school administrators who have received the support of our school site administrators to encourage them to get this out and talk about it and to create an alternative or to help other students or to educate others stop the practices or to interpret what bullying is. a lot of us didn't know what
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that was. now if you allow generations to think there's no consequence, bullying becomes harassment, harassment becomes physical with scars and then you've got, i hate to say the word, but you have gangs of kids who don't know the difference. that's what we naed to educate ourselves on. as i've said and if i have identified all the different players, it does take a village to raise our kids. it does require us to understand not only what happens in the classroom, what happens on the school grounds, what happens in programs that we all cherish so much on and off our school sites, it's online and it's off-line that we also have to concern ourselves with. it is with kids that have both parents and kids without the parents at home that it's happening. we need to embrace a full court program on this
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because the numbers tell us and dictate to us that we have to have this high level strong fierce collaboration to end bullying and to make sure it doesn't proceed into its worst stages. and so i want to just thank everyone for this collaboration, i know our human rights commission, theresa, is here, i know commissioner is here as well and all of the bay area to work together to utilize the resources that our justice department is offering. their guidance and leadership as well, and to note that it can happen to any group. if you've heard what we're trying to do here, i know other mayors across this bay area are trying to do, we're trying to unleash the talent and creativeness of all of our communities not to succumb to things that will suppress that talent and in order to do that,
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you've got to really erase these barriers that are created sometimes by our own ignorance and sometimes by what people think are playful things and yet they are very, very hurtful and they become worse and worse. so that's what lee hirsch's film was really all about. he's taken 5 families and he's documented it and yesterday over 3,000 of our students had a chance to view and many of them i think cried because they know it's happening in their own school site. and just because we get a label sometimes in san francisco that we're progressive or that we know better, it's happening also on our own turf to unacceptable levels. i wanted it share with you i'll be doing my part, i'll be doing more than my part. i've indicated to melinda and certainly ann marie and her
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coordination of this, we will be on the forefront with our school district and our administrators and our commissions to work together with the bay area to end this, to talk about it and expose it and to continue really carrying out a promise that we have made as leaders in our very dynamic bay area. we will not tolerate intolerance and we will expose it, get rid of it, and we will educate our kids, the next generation who will hopefully inherit a better world. we've got to set those conditions for that to happen. this is why i am so appreciative of so many of the different levels of law enforcement, education and nonprofits to come together and share the practices, share what we can do, and then do what's right, continue and support those programs that will help us. so, with that, i am very fortunate and glad to share this with you and be part of this afternoon's great conversation and thank you again for all of your commitments. i appreciate it very much.
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(applause). >> mr. mayor, thank you so much, thank you for showing up two days in a row. i want to thank you for your commitment to lead -- what a tremendous responsibility. my goodness, you have the whole san francisco unified school district involved here. mr. caranza said that's it. i had a chance to see your movie yesterday. i want another show of hands because we have some new people here, who has seen bully? oh, okay, the afternoon crowd did much better. good. so lee hirsch is producer, director, he spent an enormous amount of time in the lives of
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our 5 families. he is going to be our speaker today. our other guest is roslyn wiseman. those of you who are parents have probably read her books. queen bee, queen bee wannabes, she has something else coming out that i'm probably not allowed it talk about yet, something to do with boys coming up. but i want to get started because our time is short. lee, first of all, tell us about bully, please, what was your inspiration for that. >> sure, we kind of met before, we definitely wanted to make our session a little more relaxed and so what we'll try and throw it out to questions pretty soon and have a bit of a free style banter amongst ourselves. but bully basically began as a, like most independent film makers, a dream, how can i possibly make this film, be
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able to capture bullying and give it a home, if you will, in something as durable and impactful as a documentary or a film. it very much grew from my own experiences of having been bullied as a kid and feeling like or taking the memory of how hard it was to communicate what was happening, to find agreement or adults or even to get my parents to advocate on my behalf and feeling that if i could tie my own experience to what perhaps happens around the country that there was something very powerful there and that there was also a collective need for this film. so that was really the beginning of it was how do we do this? what would make it meaningful. and in many ways
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we were really sometimes i think the streepgt of the film has much less to do with me as a film maker but with the intense and deep philosophy that the stories carry and that all the stories really of kids that are being bullied and families that are struggling, they all have that philosophy. so i think by just turning the lens and giving voice it those kids gave the film its heart. >> and its power. he told me he saw me tweeting -- i have to tweet for work. he said, i want you to put that down. step away from your phone and be in the moment. live in this movie. and i did and it's haunting to me. i'm glad you told me that. i'm really glad you did what you did. i hope everybody who didn't get to see it, gets to see it.
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roslyn, your booking are amazing. i know they have been read by hundreds of thousands of people. what was your inspiration. >> my work, i've been working with schools around the country, i've been doing it about 20 years. i started out actually teaching self-defense to girls. what was striking to me was i was not going to the root causes why kids were getting into situations or losing their voice. i created a course called speaking up then decided to write a book because i thought i was working with girls a lot, people didn't seem to understand, they wanted to talk about issues of girls but they didn't understand or weren't thinking about the larger consequences of how girls were interacting with each other. i was working with boys in equal numbers to girls, i have always continued to do that, but i wrote queen bees and
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wanna-be's to show the unwritten rules, what could we do to be more credible and competent in the lives of girls. that is what i do. in fact, when lee came to me about 3 or 4 years ago, we were at a party, a mutual friend's birthday party, i know a lot of people do work pretty similar to ours, people come to you and say i want to do this bullying thing. i probably get an email a day today from 12 to 14-year-old kid saying they are doing a music video about bullying, right? >> which is awesome. >> i'm not saying it's not awesome. so lee came up to me at a party and said i'm doing this thing, i'm doing this bullying documentary, i want to get into the schools. i remember him saying, i'm going to get into the school. i remember saying it myself, yeah, right, there is no way.
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i'll see you when you get it. i'll look at it when you get it. and he actually got it. i got the video to preview, the documentary to preview, and what he was doing was showing the things that i see a little blip of in the schools that i work in, but i know as soon as i walk out the door it's way worse for a lot of kids and a lot of administrators and he was showing how adults are complicity, sometimes realizing it and sometimes not, we are implicit in sometimes our own incompetence of this issue. we must, if we are going to be credible to young people coming forward to report these issues, then we'd better know what we're doing and we better be competent and look like to these kids that it is worth the risk, the leap of faith, to come to us. one of the things we have a hard time doing as adults is owning our own questions, our
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own uncertainties, owning when we don't do it right. as a teacher one of the things i've always thought, because i love, love being a teacher, you are sitting with a classroom of 25 kids and you're not doing it right, you know. and i don't like being the teacher, i'm sure -- i don't like being the teacher in the room with kids looking at me with that look on their face. i hate that look. i don't like that look. i am not going to sit in a room with a group of kids for 48 minutes or an hour and 10 minutes and not be a good teacher. and if i'm not a good teacher, what i need to do is ask them why. i don't think that's giving up or sacrificing my authority to do that, i actually think that is a display of my authority, to say i am somebody who is a teacher, an educator, i care enough to want to know am i doing this right for you and if not, why not. i thought what lee was able to
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do was show some of the things that have been so frustrating to me in the 20 years i've been working on this issue. teachers who say, apologize, when you know the kid is not apologizing sincerely, when a teacher or principal says i know what it feels like because i have children. well, don't tell that to somebody else. that's not a pass, basically, that you know what it's like to be in a parent's shoes who has a kid that's being tortured when they go to school. there are phenomenal teachers and administratorors and i thought by showing lee's film we could really show the discomfort that we have. one of the things about this film i think is worth highlighting, i have kids, i have said things to them that as soon as they left my mouth i wished i could take back. you see in lee's film parents sometimes not doing the right thing and being
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angry and being angry with their kids and saying things that exacerbate the problem. that's why when i thought the film i thought i have to be able to support this whichever way i can. >> roslyn, what do you do when your parents think you are telling them way too much. >> i get the super anxious parent. >> could you give us an example? >> if i understand your question correctly, one of the things i think we as educators in whatever way possible, in whatever capacity, that when it's your own children that your initial reaction, when it's happening to you, even if it's your field of expertise, like when it happens to me, i have definitely gotten the phone calls from the principal and it's not been what angels my children are. they have
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often been bullied. they've been on both sides of it. i think one of the things that's important is two things. one is that when it's your own children your anxiety is going to hijack your higher thinking sometimes for a while and you must have people that are advocates and colleagues of yours to help you think it through. the second thing, to be very specific, i think teachers when a parent comes to them trying to, they are reporting a bullying problem, there's a couple things i believe teachers and administrators should never say. here's top three. really? i've never heard of that happening before. now, they honestly could never have seen that happening before or with that child so it comes across obviously in a totally different context. the other is what we have, and you see it in these films, we have a zero tolerance for bullying here which i think is really extraordinary because it makes the administrator look
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incompetent when they say that. they don't mean to but i don't think you should say that. the other part is, oh, right, i'm sure the child didn't mean it that way. because really what we see, and we saw it in the morning, these things when they come down to it, is about who the child is, their race, their ethnicity, their sexual orientation. it really is against common sense that you would speak for someone else's experiences and assume when you don't know i think what it really is in that moment is that we are uncomfortable with racism, we are uncomfortable with homophobia and talking about it. and we don't want to step in and deal with it in the moment because we're uncomfortable. i think we are deeply uncomfortable dealing
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with racism and homophobia and all those isms and that's what comes out of our mouth. >> the parents who are mad at the kids for not doing something about being victimized, so were some of the administrators, well, i reported this, i interviewed them. what do you say to that? you really focus on that. >> yeah, i think inherent in what -- the movie is all about what happens, like the minutia, the nitty-gritty. there's a scene in the movie, we'll show a clip but i would say for those of you that have seen the movie, the most explosive scene in the film is a conversation between two students and the assistant principal in this school where they emerge from
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recess and there's clearly some conflict that's going on and she says, whoa, whoa, what's going on here? the two start telling their own stories and, you know, she basically says, you go away to the one person that was a witness, then she proceeds to have the two students shake hands. and it becomes a very uncomfortable exchange where the boy who has been the target, the victim of bullying, doesn't want to shake the hand of his bully and doesn't want to just let it go. then she basically gets angry and drills into this kid, right? she dismisses the bully and she starts saying if you don't shake his hand you are just like him. and it just carries on but our audiences start screaming at the screen. i mean they are just, like, oh or
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ugh, it just makes them crazy. and i find that so extraordinary because as a film maker, someone that watches a lot of scenes, there's a lot of, you know, stories will go through big effort to get that kind of response. you will see, like, someone's house blown up and people are like, oh, or someone's sexually assaulted and people are, like, eh. yet this little moment is so incredibly stirring to our audience. and it's that thing, that little thing that happens, you know, over and over in little ways that take away the dignity of students that everyone can relate to and it's, in a way i always feel, it's why i feel so bad ultimately for kim lockwood,
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who is the administrator in the film in this scene because, like, it's not like she's done this like insanely awful thing. she just got it ron and rushed to judge and said shake hands and everything will be okay and didn't take into account the history of those two students and didn't put the pieces together that the boy that didn't want to shake hands was someone that had been victimized and bullied over and over and over again. and then you see that happen. so i would say that in our film these little moments, like what ros said about things that come out of your mouth with your kids, you are, like, oh, no. these are the things, this is actually where the rubber meeting the road a little bit and it's the hardest stuff. we screened in sioux city before anyone had seen the movie for all the administrators in the movie. obviously we've been down a long road with this community
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and i will make a point thanking them for their courage in making this film, which is what you thought nobody would ever do, which is allow a camera to film for a year inside a building and film those interactions and those conversations. but they did it because they wanted to do better. but when we first did the screening, someone that had been an administrator for many many years basically said, listen, if we're going to be honest in unpacking this movie, then we have to recognize and i'll be the first one to say it, that i have made those mistakes. i have rushed to judge. i have gotten it wrong in exactly that same way many times in my career. then suddenly the conversation started to flow and not only did people connect to how they missed those moments and that they don't, that they felt they didn't have the training to catch those moments or really do that inner reflection, but
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then they started sharing their stories of being bullied in their life and why they got into education and suddenly everyone was crying. it's a really amazing moment. so i think those moments are really important. the other thing you asked about with the parent when sunset is referring to alex's dad. >> they are referring to his mom and dad being upset with him for not standing up for himself, i just wanted to cringe. >> what's clear is when dad said if you don't make a stop, this could happen to your little sister. then the sister gets in on it and it's, like, just puts the, as sisters will do, but i think as a, as
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someone who was a boy and had difficult conversations with my dad, i really really remember that sort of punch them, make it go away. a lot of families will give that advice. i'm not even convinced that's the wrong advice, the problem is when they doesn't work, then they shut down and quit coming to you because they are afraid it's a double disappointment. they can't please their peers and find friendship and then they so don't want to lose their fathers as well, this boy-father thing is so deep. >> every single person in this room wants to start making a difference. we want to start doing it right now. ros, how do you start giving a child the dignity that was taken away? >> i'm actually going to use an example that might seem a
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little far-flung for that question. one of the things i wanted to talk about with colleagues is the write up process when they cuss you out in the classroom or the hallway. i was in chicago in may and already the strike talk was coming up and talking to some of the teacher. one of the teachers said i don't know what to do about this bullying thing because the kids are cussing me out in the hallway and all i can do is write them up. i think that's a moment i'd like us to think about in terms of empowerment of the teacher. it might be the case that the teacher doesn't feel for a lot of different reasons that she can't depend on his principal to back her up and maybe that principal their best, too. but one of the things i want us it look at in terms of treating children with dignity, which means they are worthy, two
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things. respect as a word is overused in schools and if i could frankly take down all of the banners of in schools that say you have to respect yourselves, i would. because i think that kids see that and they think that what we do is put up banners that do not sometimes reflect the way we treat each other underneath those banners. they are so conditioned you are just giving mae a slogan. so i think we naed to own the way in which respect is used in our cull taur and to say to young people, this is what it looks like it me when we walk down the hall and what it looks like to me as a teacher when i walk down the hall and be respectful, if i hear bad language, what a teacher will say if i had to stop at every f-u in the hallway i wouldn't be able to teach. i would spend my entire day doing that. what i would like to think about is those are the small moments that really speak to the culture of the school and
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so you can't stop every you are a faggot walking down the hallway, you can't stop every retarded. actually you can and you can do it in a way that really speaks to the dignity of all the children. as a teacher i think sometimes we have forgotten when you are a teacher, kids are going to cuss you out sometimes. you are not going to fall down dead if children say f-u when you walk down the hallway. it won't kill you to have an eraser thrown at you behind your back. that doesn't feel good. but you are going to survive. so when you walk down the hallway and you see some kid say something or you discipline them, right, let me back up. you walk down the hallway and you see kids you are not sure if they are playing or fightg


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